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COVID-19 Update
May 12, 2020

IowaBio wants to provide our members useful information during the COVID-19 public health emergency. This newsletter compiles information on state, federal and industry action to combat the virus and its impacts.

If your company is helping respond to COVID-19, IowaBio wants to know about it. Please, send any information about what your biotechnology company or organization is doing to help, to Jessica Hyland at Jessica@iowabio.org.

If IowaBio can assist you in getting information out, connecting with public officials, or support your company in another way, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Past IowaBio COVID-19 Update newsletters are now available at www.iowabio.org/COVID19 and can be found under the Industry News tab on the IowaBio website.

Iowa Update

According to coronavirus.iowa.gov, an additional 414 positive cases have been reported for a total of 12,373 positive cases. 3,204 more negative tests were reported. 3,618 more have been tested for a total of 77,792 Iowans tested. There are 6 additional deaths and 271 total deaths. 5,249 have recovered.

Yesterday at her press conference, Governor Reynolds addressed her exposure last Wednesday in Washington D.C. to a vice presidential staffer; however, she had no direct contact with the staffer, press secretary Katie Miller. Governor Reynolds said she will follow a modified quarantine plan: she will have her temperature taken multiple times a day, she will be tested daily, practice social distancing and wear a mask for any minimal interactions with others, and work from home some of the time. Most of her team will be working from home, especially if they or a family member has higher risk.

Governor Reynolds gave an update on the reopening in some areas of the state. Eastern Iowa was the first area of the state to see virus activity—specifically Linn and Johnson Counties—which have stabilized and turned downward over the last two weeks, showing more manageable virus activity. There have been similar results in Washington and Louisa Counties, she said. Blackhawk county a recent hotspot has shown improvement. She touted strike teams and surveillance testing at businesses and long term care facilities. They have tested 1,324 staff and residents, and over 9,400 employees in 14 meat processing facilities and will probably test another 3,000 this week, she said. Central and Western parts of the state are experiencing growth in virus activity, particularly Polk County. Increased activity in Sioux City area, where they have opened a Test Iowa site. Crawford county has also seen increased activity. Two new Test Iowa sites will open this week in Davenport and one in Ottumwa. Testiowa.com is the online assessment for the Test Iowa initiative.

Iowa has received remdesivir over the weekend, the Governor said, and they are examining who can benefit the most from the drug, and coordinating with experienced doctors. Remdesivir has shown it can reduce the amount of days to recovery in some COVID-19 patients. Analysis on current increasing case counts helped get Iowa on the short list to get remdesivir, said Sarah Reisetter, Deputy Director of IDPH.

The Governor will make an announcement today about additional easing of social distancing and business restrictions in the state. She will be addressing the upcoming expiration of her health emergency order on May 15. She answered a press question about the Iowa State Fair and whether the annual event in August that routinely draws over a million people a year to the Des Moines fairgrounds, will be held in 2020. The Governor said it was too early to make that decision, and they will continue to monitor the data, to make a decision soon. The Governor’s last proclamation waived the state requirement for schools to start after the state fair.

Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg gave an update on the Feeding Iowa Taskforce, made up of leaders from food banks and various state agencies. The Task Force has been raising the profile of food insecurity and helping assist food banks, through the national guard, and Americorp workers, who have been reassigned to COVID-19 response. They are looking for volunteers at volunteeriowa.org. The Lieutenant Governor gave an update on the Pass the Pork initiative, which has received $100,000 in donations to process and distribute pork. He said they are looking at additional opportunities to use federal funds, expand on programs and help develop new mini-supply chains to help those in need of food.

Federal Legislation 

Supplemental IV – CARES 2.0. / Phase 4 

Timeline: It’s unlikely that we see text before Wednesday. The timeline on introduction is still unclear, but could be relatively soon, as House Democratic Leadership has scheduled caucus calls to discuss what's in the bill. The Speaker’s original goal for introduction was yesterday. Leader Hoyer has indicated that Members will receive 72-hour notice before a vote. If a bill is introduced today, the earliest a vote could occur would be Friday.  

Process/Politics: It is worth emphasizing that a bill as introduced by House Democrats will be far from what product becomes law, as Republicans have yet to join negotiations. Any House vote on the Democratic bill will likely be partisan. House Leadership has announced five caucus calls to take place today and Wednesday so members can ask questions about the bill. The calls are the following: 
  • 11:00 a.m. Health – Chairman Pallone (E&C) and Chairman Scott (Ed & Labor) will discuss provisions on testing, healthcare, aid to healthcare workers, pensions.
  • 12:30 p.m. Business and Individual – Chairwoman Waters (FinServ) and Chairwoman Velazquez (Small Biz) will discuss PPP, small business provisions, rent and mortgage assistance. 
  • 4:00 p.m. State and Local – Chairwoman Lowey (HAC) will discuss aid to states and municipalities. 
  • 5:30 p.m. Direct Assistance/UI – Chairman Neal (WM) will discuss direct assistance to families, small business, unemployment. 
  • 11:00 a.m. (Wednesday, 5/13) – Unclear who will lead discussion on election security, House rules. 
Policy: As it stands currently, the overall package is around $3 trillion. The Ways & Means portion submitted to leadership last week is over $1 trillion alone. State and local aid is roughly $1 trillion. There are several front liners and Blue Dog types expressing concern that the bill has ballooned too much, so leadership is now deciding if and where they choose to cut some pieces out. 

There has been a lot of chatter around the Rep. Jayapal paycheck guaranty proposal, which is similar to what Sen. Warner has proposed. A separate approach is the bill Reps. Murphy and DelBene put out on Friday to expand the employee retention tax credit. The Murphy-DelBene proposal was a part of the Ways & Means submission to leadership. It is possible that versions of both proposals end up in the bill, for multiple ‘wins’ for different Members. Another provision that is at the Leadership level, and was part of the Ways & Means submission, is a bill by Reps. Thompson-Kind-Panetta-Horsford that assists companies with fixed costs like rent and utilities. 

Passed Legislation

New Implementation Information and Guidance
  • 5/11 – White House released a summary of economic relief actions up to date here
  • 5/11 – SBA released updated PPP statistics, including recent state by state information here.  
Previously Reported Implementation Information and Guidance

Small Business Loans & Treasury Main Street Lending
  • 5/8 – SBA’s Inspector General released a report on the implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program. The report found the Administration’s administration of the program did not align with the law in four ways: prioritization of underserved/rural markets, loan proceeds eligibility for forgiveness, guidance on loan deferment, and registration of loans. Report here
  • 5/7 – The Washington Post reported that the SBA has imposed a new loan limit on the department’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), moving the loan limit from $2 million to $150,000. The department also announced that it would only be accepting applications from agricultural businesses onward.  
  • 5/6 – Treasury released an updated FAQ for the Paycheck Protection Program. FAQ here.  
  • 5/3 – Treasury and SBA released a data set for the most recent tranche of P3 funds. Data here
  • 4/30 – The IRS issued guidance that most expenses funded by forgiven Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans are non-deductible for federal income tax purposes.  
  • 4/30 – The Federal Reserve released the term sheets and other information relating to its expansion of scope and eligibility of the Main Street Lending Program. Term sheets and other information here. Other information on other facilities and programs here
  • 4/29 – SBA announced that from 4:00-11:49pm on 4/29, SBA systems would only accept loans from lending institutions with asset sizes less than $1 billion dollars. The move was aimed at ensuring access to the PPP loan program for smaller lenders and their customers. 
  • 4/28 – SBA announced it would no longer accept PPP loan applications submitted by robotic processing systems.  
  • Treasury released an interim final rule for the Paycheck Protection Program on how lenders will calculate loan amounts for employers with seasonal employees. Rule here.  
  • 4/24 – SBA issued a procedural guidance on participation sales here
  • 4/24 – SBA released an interim final rule on requirements for Promissory Notes, Authorizations, Affiliation, and Eligibility. Interim Final Rule here. Additional eligibility criteria and requirements for certain loans here.  
  • 4/24 – Data on Economic Injury Disaster Loans here, EIDL Advance here
  • 4/23 – The Treasury Department asked all publicly traded companies that received funds under the program to return the funds within two weeks. 
  • The Treasury Department released an interim final rule on the small business provisions in the bill. See here for a memo Cornerstone put together on the interim final rule.  
  • Treasury FAQs on the Paycheck Protection Program 
  • Top-line overview of the program here 
  • Lender information here, Borrower information here, borrower application here 
Individual and Business Tax Relief
  • IRS guidance on deferral of payroll taxes here 
  • House Ways and Means factsheet on Economic Impact Rebate portal here 
  • IRS’s FAQ page on individual economic relief here 
  • Treasury Guidance on Employee Retention Tax Credit here 
  • 4/29 – Treasury FAQ on Employee Retention Tax Credit here 
Public Health Systems, Education, and Healthcare
  • 5/1 – As part of the $100 billion dedicated to hospitals and health providers in CARES, HHS has distributed funding to “hotspot” hospitals and providers. HHS distributed $12 billion to 395 hospitals who provided inpatient care for 100 or more COVID-19 patients through April 10, 2020. $2 billion of the funding was distributed based on low-income/uninsured data (Medicare and Medicaid disproportionate share and uncompensated care payments). Money went out on Tuesday and Wednesday. 
  • 4/27 – Outline of the Provider Relief Fund with additions from COVID 3.5 here
  • 4/27 – Education Sec. Betsy DeVos announced that more than $300 million in discretionary grant funds will be available for states to use to create adaptable, innovative learning opportunities for K-12 and postsecondary learners in response to COVID-19. The grants will be funded through the Education Stabilization Fund (ESF), authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. 
  • 4/26 – CMS announced that it is reevaluating the amounts that will be paid under its Accelerated Payment Program (AAP) and suspending its Advance Payment Program to Part B suppliers effective immediately. Press release here
  • The announcement came as a surprise to Democrats, who were actively negotiating with the department officials on modifying the program.  
  • 4/23 – As part of negotiations on 3.5, the Administration made commitments on how the next $60 billion in the health relief fund will be distributed. HHS has committed that it will send out an additional $60 billion dollars in the coming weeks, much of it coming within the next 10 days.  
  • 4/23 – As part of negotiations on 3.5, the Administration made commitments on changes to Medicare advance payment policies. The administration committed that, by the end of this week, Secretary Mnuchin and Chief of Staff Meadows will release a letter stating that they will:  
    • Use their administrative authority to reduce the interest rate down from what is currently 10.25 percent to a rate that is more in line with a traditional federal interest rate.  
    • Use their administrative authority to extend the repayment period beyond 12 months.  
    • Work with Congress and support legislation in Corona 4 that will place the liability for these payments in Treasury’s General Revenue fund, rather than the Medicare Hospital Insurance and Supplemental Medical Insurance Trust Funds. The expansion of these programs must not adversely affect Medicare’s solvency or result in premium increases for seniors. 
  • 4/22 – CARES Act Provider Relief Fund overview here. State by state breakdown of first payment here.  
  • 4/9 – Secretary DeVos indicated that she would be moving to "immediately distribute" the $6 billion in CARES for emergency financial aid grants to college students. The grants can be used by college students for technology, course materials, food, housing, and healthcare. DeVos distributed the funding to colleges, which are meant to then distribute the aid among students. See here for the specific allocations for each college. 
Economic Stabilization
  • 4/30 – Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced the FAA will begin awarding the AIP and other discretionary grants funding through the CARES Act. Press release here. Complete list of grants here. Map of airports receiving funding here
  • 4/10 – Treasury Q&A on Loans to Air Carriers and Eligible Businesses and National Security Businesses here. Loan application here
  • 3/30 – The Treasury Department released guidance on payroll support to airline industry employees, and on loans to the airline industry and businesses critical to national security. Guidance for payroll support here. Guidance on procedures and minimum requirements for loans here. Treasury press release here
State, Local, and Tribal Governments
  • 5/8 – On a White House call yesterday, the next payments to tribes will come in approximately a month. Treasury still has a remaining $3.2 billion to distribute among tribes. Treasury plans to submit a new data request soon, with a portal open as early as next week. Tribes will likely have a few weeks to respond to the request and then Treasury will take a couple of weeks to process the data and determine a formula. The next round of funding will be based on employment and expenditure data of Tribes and tribally-owned entities.  
  • 5/5 – Treasury released distribution details regarding the tribal portion of the Coronavirus Release Fund. The first 60% of the fund will be distributed to tribes based on population used in the Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) and will include a floor of $100,000. The remaining 40% will be distributed based on the number of individuals employed by the Tribe, including employees of tribally owned entities. Treasury still needs to collect and verify employment data before distributing the second round of funding. Amounts for ANCs will not be distributed, as litigation is still pending. Press release here. Details here
  • More than a dozen tribes have sued the Treasury Department over its guidance identifying Alaska Native Corporations (ANCs) as eligible entities for the fund. Last Wednesday, Secretary Mnuchin said that the department would not be releasing funding until Tuesday, April 28 – two days after the deadline outlined in the CARES Act. The court on Monday preliminarily enjoined Treasury from disbursing funds to ANCs.  
  • 5/5 – Treasury released an updated FAQ regarding distribution of CARES Act state/local funds. FAQ here
  • 4/27 – USDA announced that Kansas and Virginia have been approved to operate Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT), authorized by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which provides assistance to families of children eligible for free or reduced-price meals dealing with school closures.  
  • 4/22 –  Treasury issued guidance on the state/local/tribal governments fund here. The guidance further defines what expenses qualify as “necessary expenditures” and provides examples as well as examples of ineligible expenses. 
  • 4/13 – Treasury launched its web portal for payments to state, local, and tribal governments. Treasury announced that eligible government entities must provide required information by Friday, April 17 to receive payment within the 30-day window allowed under CARES and those that miss that deadline may not receive funding. Submission page here. Some highlights from the announcement below: 
    • Funds are only allowed to be used for expenses which: 
    • Are necessary expenses during the coronavirus emergency; 
    • Were not accounted in the most recent budget (as of March 27, 2020); 
    • Were incurred between 3/1/2020 – 12/30/2020.  
    • Eligible local governments are those below the state level (county, municipality etc.) with a population higher than 500,000. See here for data sources and the distribution methodology.  See here for a list of eligible local government units. 
    • Amounts paid to governments will be based on population and the amounts allocated to states will be reduced by the total amount provided to local governments in the state.   
Oversight
  • 5/7 – Leadership announced the remaining members of the House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis. Members of the Committee are listed below:
    • Chair Jim Clyburn (D-SC) – Chair 
    • Maxine Waters (D-CA) 
    • Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) 
    • Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) 
    • Bill Foster (D-IL) 
    • Jamie Raskin (D-MD) 
    • Andy Kim (D-NJ) 
    • Steve Scalise (R-LA) – Ranking Member 
    • Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) 
    • Rep Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) 
    • Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) 
    • Rep. Mark Green (R-TN)
  • 4/29 – Speaker Pelosi announced the Democratic members of the House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis, to be chaired by Majority Whip Jim Clyburn.  
Supplemental 3.5 – Interim Emergency Coronavirus Relief, formally titled “Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act” (HR 266)

The President signed the bill into law on April 24. Text here. Section by section here. Summary of hospital and testing provisions here. DPCC one pager here. Senate Democrats summary of health provisions. Overview of commitments regarding health funding and Medicare advance payments the Administration made as part of negotiations. 

Supplemental III – Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

After a unanimous vote by the Senate, the House passed the bill on March 27 and the President signed the bill into law shortly after. Final text here. Democratic summary here. Republican section by section here

Supplemental II – Families First Coronavirus Response Act (HR 6201)

The Senate passed the House bill on March 18 and the President signed the bill into law that evening. Bill text here. Factsheet here. Bill section by section here. A summary of paid leave provisions, incorporating changes made by technical correction, is here.

Supplemental I – Coronavirus Supplemental

Signed by the President March 6. Text here, summary here.

Congress

Session: While the Senate returned last week, the House has yet to confirm when it will return. Whip Clyburn indicated on a call last week that the House will likely return next week. Leader Hoyer has indicated that Members will receive 72-hours notice before votes occur.  

Hearings and Meetings: The Senate held the first in-person hearings last week, with limited attendance and required social distancing protocols. 

Appropriations: While there is no specific markup schedule set, HAC still hopes to begin markups this month. The plan remains to move through COVID Phase 4 before turning to FY21. The bills are almost all of the way there and each subcommittee is due to give final briefs to the full committee front office this week, starting Wednesday. We still expect a rapid-fire markup process. The hope is that all 12 subcommittees can go through subcommittee markups over the course of a week – whenever the markups begin – with most of the full committee markups in the following week. Both majority and minority committee staff would like to rely minimally on remote procedures and are planning to do markups in larger than normal hearing rooms (Cannon Caucus Room or CVC theater) to accommodate proper social distancing. The expected order is the following: LHHS; AG; CJS; SFOPs; E&W; DOD; MilCon; FSGG; Interior; THUD; Homeland; and Leg Branch. HAC-D will be limited in marking up the classified portion of the bill, as staff cannot do so remotely and will need to complete it upon return to their offices. The Senate is scheduled to markup their bills the last week of June. 

NDAA: HASC intends to schedule the markup once the House schedule is clear. SASC is looking to markup NDAA 2021 the week of June 8, with the goal to have a bill to floor before the 4th of July recess.   

Remote voting/virtual protocols: Leadership has committed to holding a vote on a temporary rule change the next time the House is in session. House Republicans have not been enthusiastic about the prospect of remote markups and Floor action. 

The Virtual Congress Task Force continues to have productive discussions towards some sort of remote or proxy voting system. A lot of the discussion is between Leadership and Chairs. However, just within the Democratic Caucus, there is disagreement. Majority Leader Hoyer supports allowing remote markups and generally using video technology to allow much of the work of Congress to move forward. While most Democrats are on board with at least doing committee hearings remotely, there are differing opinions on remote markups. 

The McGovern proposal for proxy voting is the main starting point for how to handle Floor votes remotely. However, there are front liners and other Members who would rather have Members back in Washington, showing that Congress is taking action and working hard. Rank-and-file Democratic members are also feeling a growing frustration over not being able to impact the legislative process by virtue of not being in D.C. and physically close to Chairs, Leadership, and other leaders. Geography is another factor – Members who find it easy to get to DC (such as within driving distance), are more amenable to being back in DC. Age is also a factor. 

Members of Congress in Quarantine or Treatment (new additions in bold)

Note: It has been over a month since a member of Congress has tested positive for COVID-19. 

Tested Positive (0)

Currently Self-Quarantined (1): Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) 

Recovered (7): Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-SC), Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT), Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL)

Completed Quarantine (37): Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), Rep. Sharice Davids (D-KS), Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO), Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA), Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Rep. Vincente Gonzalez (D-TX), Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-GA), Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ), Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-NY), Rep. David Price (D-NC), Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO), Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA), Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL), Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ), Rep. Kendra Horn (D-OK), Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA), Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX), Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) 
 
Other Federal Actions  
  • The White House has directed West Wing staff to wear masks/face coverings after at least two aides tested positive for COVID-19. 
  • Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Drs. Tony Fauci and Robert Redfield, and FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn are all self-isolating. Tomorrow's Senate HELP Committee hearing will still take place, but each of the aforementioned individuals will join virtually. 
  • HUD Sec. Ben Carson announced the allocation of $1 billion in CARES Act funding through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. You can view the allocation formula here
  • COVID-19 hearings in Congress this week (memos will be available upon request):
  • The CDC remained busy through the weekend, updating and publishing additional documents on its dashboard. Today, the CDC published updated information about SARS-CoV-2 Sequencing for Public Health Emergency Response, Epidemiology and Surveillance (SPHERES), guidance on when to wear gloves and running essential errands, and a list of factors to consider when planning to purchase respirators from another country. These are just a sampling of the many updates made each day by the CDC.
  • CMS updated a video that answers FAQ about the expanded Medicare telehealth services benefit. New information includes how CMS adds items to the list of telehealth services, additional practitioners that can provide telehealth services, and the distant site services that Rural Health Clinics (RHCs) and Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) can provide. Further, the video includes information about audio-only telehealth services, telehealth services that hospitals, nursing homes and home health agencies can provide, along with how to correctly bill for telehealth services.
  • The FDA issued the first EUA for a COVID-19 antigen test, which is a new category of diagnostic tests that quickly detect fragments of proteins found on the virus by testing samples collected from the nasal cavity using swabs.
Updates from the States
  • Out of the cases under investigation detected by U.S. surveillance, there are 1,324,488 total cases and 79,756 deaths The CDC data closes out the day before reporting.
  • Led by California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) the members of the Western States Pact - California, Washington, Oregon, Colorado, and Nevada - wrote a letter to House and Senate leadership asking for $1 trillion in aid to help deal with the financial effects of COVID-19.
  • Connecticut's Office of Early Childhood announced that summer camps in the state will be able to reopen on June 29th with strict public health guidelines.
  • The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health and Bloomberg Philanthropies, in partnership with New York state launched an online course to train contact tracers.
  • Updates on lockdowns/reopening:
    • Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) announced he will be lifting his state's stay-at-home order on Friday and moving to Phase One of reopening, which allows for most businesses to reopen at 25 percent capacity.
    • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced three upstate regions - the Finger Lakes, the Southern Tier, and Mohawk Valley - have met the required reopening metrics and will be allowed to partially reopen this weekend.
    • Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) released a four-phase approach to reopening his state's economy planned for May 18th, and published Mandatory Workplace Safety Standards for all industries once reopening begins.
    • Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf (D) outlined consequences for counties and restaurants that do not abide by his reopening plan, including the withholding of federal stimulus funds and the revocation of liquor licenses.
    • South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) announced that close contact service providers, fitness and exercise centers, commercial gyms, and public or commercial pools will be able to open in a limited capacity on Monday, May 18th.
    • Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) announced that restaurants can reopen outdoor dining areas beginning May 18th.
    • West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) released the schedule for additional reopenings that allows for opening of restaurants, retail stores, and outdoor recreation areas on May 21st. 
  • Useful state data:
    • The NYT is tracking which states are reopening and which are still shut down.
    • These charts show cumulative coronavirus cases and deaths for metropolitan areas over time.
    • Use Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 U.S. map as a resource for media, policymakers and communities to view a collection of critical public health data in one online destination and better understand and track the COVID-19 pandemic in populations both large and small across the country.
    • NASHP has developed a COVID-19 State Action Center which serves as a state-level policy dashboard. Governing is also keeping a running tally of coronavirus news and impacts at the intersection of the health and economic crises in the states and localities.
    • This site from the Kaiser Family Foundation provides state-level information on cases/deaths, social distancing measures, health policy actions, and more.
    • This resource from Bloomberg Law is a database of State Quarantine and Public Health Laws related to the COVID-19 response.
    • This series of maps shows how states are responding to COVID-19, and this tracker, created and maintained by MultiState Associates, has an up-to-date list of executive orders and various travel restrictions.
    • Finally, this site offers COVID-19 projections assuming full social distancing and can be broken down by state.
International Affairs
  • Global COVID-19 cases have topped 4 million. 
  • New clusters of COVID-19 have been reported in Wuhan, China. Authorities reported five new cases today, following a case on Sunday which was the first to be reported since early April. 
  • Germany has begun lifting restrictions, but Chancellor Angela Merkel has made it clear that an ''emergency brake'' will be applied anywhere in the country that exhibits a surge in new infections.
  • Russia will begin easing lockdown measures tomorrow, despite a growing number of cases in the country. President Vladimir Putin has said the "non-working period" is over, but that mayors and regional leaders can still impose local restrictions. 
  • Starting yesterday in Belgium, people living in the same household are allowed to have up to four people visit their home, but those four people will not be allowed to visit anywhere else.
  • In France, residents no longer have to provide travel certificates for trips within a radius of up to 100km from home. Longer trips will still require a certificate and, during the rush-hour in Paris, an employer's authorization or a "compelling reason to travel" will be required. 
  • Multiple countries, including Italy, Ireland, and Spain, have closed schools until September. 
  • Global Cases:  4,006,257         Total Deaths:  278,892
Lifestyle, Science, and Economy
  • Facebook and Google both announced late last week that employees will be able to work from home through the end of the year. Some employees will be asked to go in once offices reopen in the coming months, but the majority will be encouraged to stay home. 
  • Some companies have started sending out screening surveys (like this one from Ford) before allowing employees to return to work.
  • Tesla reopened its only U.S. electric car plant in California, despite local orders against manufacturing. Elon Musk tweeted today that production had restarted and he would be "on the line with everyone else."
  • A robot dog is patrolling one of Singapore's parks as part of a coronavirus-related trial. The machine is made by Boston Dynamics and has a camera to monitor how busy Bishan-Ang Moh Kio Park becomes. It also has a loudspeaker to broadcast social-distancing messages.
  • McGill University in Montreal has already announced that classes will be held online for the fall of 2020. 
  • ClassPass, a website offering gym-class access, has had to furlough most of its staff and has lost a reported 95% of revenue. 
  • Forbes is keeping a running list of all major international airline COVID-19-related change and cancellation policies.
  • The New York Times has started its own tracker of cases in the U.S. to fill in the gaps left by agency data.
  • Lists of canceled conferences and events can be found here (music), here (tech), here (general), and here (sports/entertainment).
Helpful Articles/Media
Please contact me directly with any questions and I would be happy to assist.

Sincerely,
Jessica

Jessica Hyland, J.D.
Executive Director
Iowa Biotechnology Association
Cell: (515) 822-1315
Office: (515) 327-9156
Fax: (515) 327-1407
jessica@iowabio.org
www.iowabio.org
Copyright © 2020 Iowa Biotech Association, All rights reserved.


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